Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tomboy 0.15.0 Development Release Brings New Features and Fixes, Even For 0.14.x Users!

I'm very pleased to announce Tomboy 0.15.0, our first development release on the road to Tomboy 1.0. A few of the improvements in 0.15.0 are:
  • New NoteDirectoryWatcher add-in supports editing of your note files in other programs (think Dropbox).
  • The first of many improvements to start-up time, by not rebuilding the add-in registry every time Tomboy starts. This also fixes start-up bugs on a few distributions, including Windows.
  • Random start-up crash in GConf fixed.
  • Many improvements to the printing add-in.
  • Better note and URL auto-linking.
  • Console output on Windows command prompts now works correctly, for better error reporting.

See our NEWS file for information on some usability improvements, better GMime support, Mono.Addins upgrade on Windows, and more.

Please visit our download page for source tarballs, Windows installers, and Mac disk images. Note that the Windows installer is still a work-in-progress, and for now you should always uninstall the previous version of Tomboy before installing a new one.

NoteDirectoryWatcher Add-in Available for 0.14.x Users on Linux, Windows, and Mac!

NoteDirectoryWatcher in Action

For years, users in various situations have tried setting up ad-hoc note synchronization solutions by syncing their ~/.tomboy directory between computers. This has never been supported, and because Tomboy would not notice outside changes to note files while it was running, could easily lead to data loss and confusion. Thanks to Mike Fletcher, we are one step closer to supporting this group of users. With this add-in enabled, if another process modifies your note files, Tomboy will notice the change and update appropriately (after a short delay).

The great thing about add-ins is that we can make this feature available for download to all of our 0.14.x users. Source is in git, but you can download this cross-platform binary, drop it in ~/.tomboy/addins/ , enable it in your preferences and try it out! As this is our first release of this feature, bugs are expected, so please report any problems you experience. :-)

Please remember that sharing your ~/.tomboy is still not recommended, because it contains a bunch of add-in metadata that should not be shared unless you have identical set-ups on each system. In an upcoming version of Tomboy, we will be getting rid of ~/.tomboy and following the FreeDesktop XDG specification, so note data and add-in configuration will be stored separately. If you care about our migration from ~/.tomboy to XDG directories, please read my proposal on the bug and leave your comments.

Upcoming Releases

"Droplet", Copyright Ellery Armstrong, Milk Teeth Photography, Used With Permission

Some of the fixes in 0.15.0 will be coming to our next 0.14.x maintenance release: 0.14.2. Expect news about this in a few days.

Our next development release, 0.15.1, should include some new features in note synchronization, better Windows support when multiple GTK+ apps are installed, and the typical assortment of fixes and improvements. We are planning to have a bug day soon where we'll milestone a lot of our outstanding bugs. I'll let you know when we have a date. :-)

Lastly, after the last Tomboy planning meeting, we developed a roadmap for our next stable release, which, pending a few specific improvements, will be versioned 1.0. I'll be writing more about this in the future, but for now, feel free to check it out, and if you are interested in helping, toss your name in there!

This post brought to you by the Tomboy Blogposter add-in.


Anonymous said...

great stuff! keep up the good work!

smudo said...

Cool, are the bloat problems fixed?
( )

Sandy said...

@smudo That poster never said what version he was using. His problem may very well have been fixed in 0.14.0. I certainly can't reproduce it. In my test, Tomboy gained about 10MB of RAM, which is obviously not good, but nowhere near what that poster saw.

We are continuing to work on performance, focusing mainly on memory usage and start-up time. 0.15.0 contained one very minor memory usage improvement (a couple hundred KB), but more are on the way.

We follow the GNOME release cycle, so you will see new development releases every two weeks according to:

itsfilip said...

Awesome. I've installed it on all my boxes. Is there a way of making tomboy save notes in my Dropbox directory on Windows?
In other words, how to change the note directory?

Sandy said...

@itsfilip I haven't played much with Dropbox. I still recommend using the built-in local folder backend for Tomboy sync, pointing at a folder in your dropbox, if you want stuff to always work correctly. The only disadvantage is that you have to manually click the sync menu item periodically. We are planning to add automatic background sync in an upcoming release.

Sharing your note folder *might* work, and I believe the dropbox wiki has notes about how to set up symbolic links for that.

We have an environment variable called TOMBOY_PATH that you should be able to use to point to an alternate note directory, but I haven't tested that on Windows. Let me know if you try it out. :-)

Once we have notes, add-in configuration, etc all separated properly (coming in 0.15.1 or 0.15.2, probably), this will be a lot easier.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, but I switched to GNote :)

itsfilip said...

Thanks Sandy. Tried pointing TOMBOY_PATH to my Dropbox folder on XP. So far so good. I will need to try it on multiple machines to really stress test it.

itsfilip said...

Background sync would be really really nice. I guess I am spoiled by Dropbox =)

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is awesome! Rock on, Agent Orange!